Thursday 6 Jan 2005


Region & Route:
| North West & Central
| Southern
This Christmas, while most people were enjoying precious time with their families, up to 40 railway workers forfeited their roast turkey and mince pies to install a vital new railway ‘crossover’ at Bedford North Junction on the Midland Main Line.  The work was carried out during the traditional two-day Christmas closure of the railway, starting at 11pm on Christmas Eve, and was completed by 4am on Monday 27 December.  Dyan Crowther, Network Rail Route Director, said: “The Christmas period provides a window of opportunity for essential work on the railway, with minimal disruption to passengers.      We took advantage of this time to carry out vital track formation work at Bedford, securing the future reliability of train services for passengers using the busy Midland Main Line.” Network Rail’s investment of £1.6million at Bedford North Junction allowed the replacement of one of six ‘crossovers’, the part of a railway track where a train can cross from one line to another.  The existing crossover, on the heavily used railway line between London St Pancras and the Midlands, was over 20 years old and in need of replacement.  Dyan Crowther added: “Careful planning and advance preparation enabled the team to get this vital work done within the two-day traditional railway closure, without affecting train services.  I must pay tribute to the many dedicated workers who gave up their Christmas holiday to deliver these improvements for railway users on the Midland Main Line.” A 100-tonne Kirow crane was used to lift out the existing crossover in six sections, each around 6 metres in length.  These were transported to a work site further down the railway line, where sections of the new crossover had been constructed and were ready to be installed.  The engineering work was completed in the early hours of Monday 27 December, and the railway was re-opened for train services 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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